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Groundwork Ohio is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that advances quality early learning and development as the most transformative strategy to improve school outcomes, increase the life-long success of Ohio’s children, and lay a strong foundation for economic prosperity.

State Allies:

Groundwork Ohio • Columbus, OH
Top Priorities for 2021

Promote the alignment of child-serving systems within the administration and legislature to advance the resources and policies that meet the needs of the whole child.

Expand access to high-quality publicly funded child care by increasing eligibility to 200 percent FPL and supporting programs in improving quality of care.

Increase access to preventive services like home visiting and safe baby courts that help stabilize families to decrease engagement in the child welfare system.

Expand coverage and increase the quality of health care for young children and pregnant mothers through Medicaid and CHIP.

Ohio’s 2020 Early Childhood Policy Landscape and Progress:

Estimated FY20 State General Fund Expenditures

House (R), Senate (R),
Governor (R)

521,386 Young Children (0-8) are Below 200% FPL

2020 was set to be a year of implementation after historic increases in funding for young children were made during 2019 for FY19-20 in Governor Mike DeWine’s first budget. The pandemic stalled progress.The pandemic and a public corruption scandal centered on Ohio’s former Speaker of the House limited Ohio’s legislative calendar.

*Early childhood policy progress in a state is the result of numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

More from Ohio:

Ohio Early Childhood Policy Advocacy

Ohio Allies Launch Innovative Center for Family Voice as Part of Ongoing Work on Race and Rural Equity

Groundwork Ohio has announced plans to build a “center of excellence” dedicated to authentically engaging Ohio parents and families in the policies and practices that impact the healthy development of their children. The Center for Family Voice will explore best practices across the state and nation that successfully engage families in public services delivery to inform state, local, and programmatic policy development.

Read More »

Download the full 50-State report.

The Alliance for Early Success 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Policy expands state data (disaggregating low-income young children by race) and provides high-level state policy trend analysis for the nation as a whole. Click the icon to download the report.

State Budget Data: National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), “Table 4: Fiscal 2020 State General Fund, Estimated (Millions); The Fiscal Survey of the States.” Spring, 2020

Low-Income Data (including disaggregation by race): National Center for Children in Poverty, “NCCP Analysis of ACS 1-year Estimates—Public Use Microdata Sample, 2019.”

State Action Data: Provided by state advocates, October-November 2020, with analysis and synthesis by Frontera Strategy for Alliance for Early Success, “Protecting Progress and Investing in Scale: The 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Education Policy.”

Additional State Actions: Mincic, Melissa,  Early Care and Education, State Budget Actions, Fiscal Year 2020. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), October 2020. 


The Alliance for Early Success is achieving large-scale, long-lasting change for the state’s young children by providing our allies with powerful advantages that help them shape Ohio early childhood policy.